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Inner River: A Pilgrimage to the Heart of Christian Spirituality Paperback – March 6, 2012


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Inner River: A Pilgrimage to the Heart of Christian Spirituality + The Mountain of Silence: A Search for Orthodox Spirituality + Gifts of the Desert
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Image (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307885879
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307885876
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #322,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“With his engaging blend of travelogue, conversations with a wise and charismatic spiritual father and musing on the big questions of life and death, Professor Markides takes us as companions on his journey of discovery. The insights that he communicates with such enthusiasm are timely ones: here at least is a writer who challenges the seeker after mystical understanding and Eastern spirituality to discover Christianity.”
-Elizabeth Theokritoff, independent scholar & co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Orthodox Theology
 
“Dr. Markides welcomes readers into a reliving of another of personal pilgrimages. His vulnerable exchanges with insightful elders prompt meaningful reflection; and these joyous experiences lead each reader to renewal and resolve of their own journey in spiritual development. The entire text is replete with enlightenment of the treasures found in catharsis, fotisis, and theosis.
-Father Nicholas C. Triantafilou, President, Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology
 
“In Inner River, we journey with Dr. Kyriacos Markides in his quest for a deeper understanding of the mystical path as informed by Eastern Orthodox spirituality. Dr. Markides is a consummate scholar whose writing are so very accessible that his readers are ushered into a world of inquiry that might otherwise remain impenetrable. Like a trusted friend, [he] invites us to his private thoughts as he makes meaning and ponders additional questions that arise. Accordingly, [Inner River] holds the potential to transform one’s very way of navigating life.”
-Marcie Boucouvalas, Ph.D., Professor of Human Development, Virginia Tech/National Capital Region; editor, Journal of Transpersonal Psychology
 
“Professor Markides is a true philosopher and an inspired writer. Inner River is to date his most important work. Written in simple, clear, and practical words, it takes us to the core of our spiritual tradition, providing what is truly essential but most lacking in our contemporary education system and secular society: meaning for the mind, motivation for the heart, and purpose for the will. If you want to know yourself and live to the fullest, this book is truly a must, a priceless jewel.”
-Peter Roche de Coppens, Ph.D, author and professor of Sociology, Anthropology, and Psychotherapy at East Stroudsberg of Pennsylvannia

About the Author

KYRIACOS C. MARKIDES is an internationally respected authority on mystic Christianity. He has written several books on Christian spirituality, including The Mountain of Silence, Riding with the Lion, and Gifts of the Desert. Dr. Markides is a professor of sociology at the University of Maine, where he lives with his wife, Emily.

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Customer Reviews

Typical of Professor Markides books, Inner River is packed with stories of miracles and metaphysical matters.
Pierian
I found Mr. Markides writing style easygoing and engaging and will look into finding his other books to read as I would like to read more of what he has to say.
Lily Raines
This book is most certainly not 'a pilgrimage to the heart of Christian spirituality', but an exploration of ideas and current fields of study in sociology.
David Robles

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Pierian on March 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
In his latest book, Kyriacos meets the ever charismatic Fr. Maximos on his first trip to the USA and commences a worthy discussion on the nine fruits of the spirit as listed by the Apostle Paul. During a later trip to Cyprus Kyriaco explores aging with an older friend attempting to help him understand this stage of life from a different perspective. Markides then ventures to desert of Egypt, spending time at St. Catherine's Monastery and shares his experience climbing the holy mountain. Returning to Cyprus he meets an interesting 91 year old hermit named Elder Seraphim. A former atheist, he shares his journey to Christian asceticism. Typical of Professor Markides books, Inner River is packed with stories of miracles and metaphysical matters. A worthy addition to my book collection which I will surely read again.
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58 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Averky on May 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read (and re-read much of) "The Mountain of Silence," though I confess that I have yet to resume "Gifts of the Desert" after reading 60 pages and losing interest. For this reason, it would be unfair to officially call this my third book by Kyriacos Markides, but I have read enough of him to know what to expect... for the most part.

"The Mountain of Silence" is one of those books about Orthodoxy that "broke through" the Orthodox world and has become better known. It is one I have recommended to many people. In recommending that book, though, I also provide with the recommendation a piece of advice: Listen to everything Fr. Maximos says, but be very careful of the author's interpretation of his words. He's often off just by a bit, but that's enough to cause big issues. For me, "The Mountain of Silence" is 85% really good stuff, and that good stuff is incredibly engaging and powerful. This book was a bit different...

The sociological and... shall we say, syncretistic... worldview from which the author approaches topics of Orthodox spirituality (or "mysticism," as it is often referred to, though I have hesitations about using this word) are often what made me pause when reading "The Mountain of Silence." As I said, he is sometimes just a little bit off in his understanding, but he's off enough to give me pause in recommending the book. At other times - and far more rarely - he is far more than being just a little off; he outright wrong in his understanding of certain theological truths.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amy on July 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
Markides' *Inner River* is a helpful introduction into Eastern Orthodox Christian spirituality, and most especially a glimpse into the wisdom of hermetic and monastic traditions. Readers--whether familiar or unfamiliar with Eastern Orthodoxy--will hopefully come away with some of the gems of its mystical tradition and an appreciation for the wisdom contained within, most especially a more integrated understanding of the natural and spiritual aspects of the world.

Markides begins his book by focusing on a discussion with Fr. Maximos, a former Athonite monk who is now a bishop in Cyprus. Fr. Maximos discusses the "fruit of the spirit" in the most helpful way I've ever heard, indicating the importance of each one, and how they are a progression from the least/easiest (self-control) to the greatest (love). He ties this in with the Orthodox understanding of the progression from *Catharsis* (purging/purification) to *Photisis* (enlightening) to *Theosis* (union with God). While there is a description of each of this stages in the Orthodox understanding of salvation, for those unfamiliar with Orthodoxy it might be a little confusing simply because of the vast differences between Eastern and Western theology. This book attempts to be accessible to any Christian and/or religious scholar, and I think the wisdom in it is vastly applicable, but this is not a full and complete treatment of Eastern Orthodox theology and should not be treated as such.

After Markides' discussion with Fr. Maximos, we see some of his journeying to different Orthodox monasteries such as Mt. Athos and St. Catherine's monastery in Sinai, before journeying back to Cyprus and having other conversations with Fr. Maximos.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dan E. Nicholas on August 4, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The good professor from Maine has done it one more time with his interviews and travels with the monks of Mt. Athos, specifically Fr. Maximus of Cyprus.

The tough question for me now is: do I give away as gifts his Mountain of Silence or this latest work? Having found the faith in Evangelical Protestantism back in the 60s, what a delight to hear of a deeper river, a faith that goes beyond the football field rah, rah Jesus rally's and the parking lot sized churches to the dark walls of smoke stained prayer rooms with mumbling old guys huddled at the klaros, the chanter stand, lost there in the business of being found with God.

Having visited St. Catherine's in Egypt just two years after Markides, his tales of his journey there were dear to me. But mostly, it's the interviews here in Inner River with Fr. Maximus that are key. I guess I should use a better title for him as he is now the top Orthodox Church hierarch there in Cyprus; but he always comes across as a monk not a prelate.

Some of my Orthodox friends are annoyed when Markides slips in his New Age approach to the Big Questions but I like it. He pushes the monks he interviews to address concerns that touch us where we live. The author's affection for his wife, his connections with workaday friends just trying to be better people, better Christians--that's what makes his book the kind you want to box up and send to your kids, friends in prison, hand out as Bible tracts.

The Eastern Christian way is always a beginning, always one more step up the ladder. My heart takes off when I hear answers like the one Fr.
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